When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
eyes on the U.S.

Merkel, Martial Arts And Trump

Merkel and Erdoğan at the NATO summit in Brussels
Merkel in Berlin on Thursday


The German press coverage of Chancellor Angela Merkel's first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Friday is occasion for all kinds of scrutiny of public comments, handshakes, smiles and anything else that body language might tell us. But the encounter that may count more happens behind closed doors.

And Merkel faces a tough balancing act in Washington on all fronts: not to appear too friendly nor be dominated by Trump. She also needs to be cautious not to offend an allied nation even though its leader represents everything she abhors. Merkel, who will run in a September for a fourth term as German leader, isn't traveling alone to the U.S. She's accompanied by three of Germany's top business leaders (Siemens, BMW and Schaeffler Technologies) to secure deals for her export-reliant country, German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

Can Merkel get what she wants?

A peek at her past experiences can provide some answers, whether it was meetings with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan or Russian president Vladimir Putin, writes Philipp Wittrock in Der Spiegel. "But Trump is the world's most powerful man, and he really doesn't care about the rules of the political game. It won't be easy finding the right balance between closeness and distance," he notes.

Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, doesn't scare easy. In previous dealings with autocrats who flexed their political muscle, Merkel didn't try to up the ante. She instead adopted "jiu-jitsu's combat techniques' that let opponents run out of energy, columnist Holger Stark writes in German publication Die Zeit.

Merkel also has another trick up her sleeve. For sexist leaders like Berlusconi, she deployed what Der Spiegel describes as "a mix of charm and toughness." It was so efficient that "diplomats still tell stories today about how she wrapped the vain Italian leader around her little finger," the paper notes.

Will Merkel's martial arts technique and charm offensive work on Trump? It's hard to say. But we'll be closely watching the public signs of what may have happened in private.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest